Writing wrapup posts is hard for me. How can I encapsulate everything in to one single post? It’s hard writing everything in multiple posts, too. I’m giving it a shot.
So, here’s my #BlogHer Dos post…
- Do bring recycled shopping bags — empty ones. When I go to a blogging event, I generally get a recycled shopping bag as a parting gift. I save all the bags for grocery shopping. I used about 8 recycled shopping bags to carry all my #BlogHer goodies home. I used the bags to wrap my shoes for the journey to BlogHer.
- Do find a bag for using during the conference. I did not want to leave my laptop in the room, but wanted to be sure that I had a secure bag to hold the laptop. I found a padded backpack from ION Network. The bag was a little cumbersome to carry, but…
- …on my busiest day I carried my evening outfit, another pair of shoes, a comb, and deoderant to freshen up before my evening events. Carrying a change of clothes meant I could go to more events without a stop back at the hotel.
- Do plan your days at BlogHer. I knew what events I had RSVP’d to. What parties I wanted to get to. What sessions I wanted to attend. Planning ahead saved me time on the ground at BlogHer.
- Plan transportation from hotel to event to event. I used my cozi calendar to schedule my events. With each cozi listing, I added the address and the distance in miles between each event.
- I used Mapquest to map out my route. I was not familiar with NYC so Mapquest showed me the distance between each event/party. I logged the mileage in to my cozi calendar.
- To further refine my navigation research, I used HopStop. With HopStop I could log in addresses and map out whether subway, walking, or cab would be quicker and/or cheaper. I cabbed it about half time, walked a quarter of the time, and took brand-sponsored shuttles the rest of the time.
- I used my Palm Pre Plus like it was my third hand. I checked my cozi calendar for my schedule, checked e-mails, and tweeted. But…
- …the Palm Pre Plus battery does not last all day, so I found the iGo Everywhere Charger. This device saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Smartphones eat batterries. The Plam Pre Plus may eat batteries more than most, so the iGo Everywhere Charger is an absolute must for travel…blogging or personal.
- Do share stay in the BlogHer hotel. I found that I liked being close enough to my room that I could drop off bags during the day. Several times I returned to my room to change or recharge my phone/laptop.
- Do find a roomie to share your room with. I bought a ticket late. I found a roomie by chance. Christy tweeted that she was looking for a roommate. I think it was a tweet. In any event, I loved sharing a room with Christy! After each of us had trudged around NYC/hotel each day, it was refreshing to come back to the room to share the day’s events. We saw each other a little during the day, but mostly chatted in the room. I need to post about my decision to “go it alone” at BlogHer.
- Christy had booked the room for 4 nights, which meant I was scheduled to come to BlogHer a full day early. I weighed the pros and cons of only staying 3 nights. Christy was flexible. I knew I could arrive on Thursday morning and still get to events. In the end I decided that arriving a day early would give me a chance to get acclimated after coming from my family vacation. Another plus to arriving early was getting to meet up with other bloggers the day before the conference.
- Do bring your clothes on wire coat hangers. I placed my clothes on the hangers in my suitcase. I didn’t have to transfer clothes to hotel hangers.
- Do plan out outfits at home, but be prepared for changes due to weather, comfort, etc.
I have a few Don’ts, too:
- Don’t bring two rolling suitcases….FULL. In my defense my second rolling suitcase was small, but it was full. The recycled shopping bags came in handy, but I was loaded down with 2 suitcases and 8 bags on the journey home. Yay for porters. Ouch for the big tip I gave to the porter.
- Don’t bring shoes to BlogHer that have never been worn. I brought 3 pairs of sandals. Didn’t wear any of them. Wore an older pair and a pair of black flip flops for the entire trip. Comfy…even if not stylish.
- Don’t forget to charge ANY electronic devices overnight. Again my iGo Everywhere Charger was a lifesaver.
- I would say Don’t bring a laptop as I had little time to blog or post anywhere due to time and connectivity problems. I found it reassuring to have the laptop with me, but it really wasn’t necessary.
- When meeting up with someone at a conference as busy as BlogHer, be prepared to have to call the person even if you are both at your designated meeting spot. It can be hard to find people in a crowded lobby or meeting room.
- Don’t go to the MomSelect Suite at the end of the first day of BlogHer as there will be nothing left. Many of the tables were decimated. I picked up some samples of cold and flu medicine, which will be helpful this coming winter. The vendors I met were lovely, but I missed meeting the reps and getting the Build-a-Bears, WebKinz, Kung Zhu Pets, and HexBugs samples. I do appreciate all the fabulous opportunities I have had with MomSelect this past year–I was hoping to get more out of the Swag Suite.
- Don’t wait til 3 p.m. on Saturday to go to the Expo Hall. A GIANT #fail on my part. Many of the vendors looked bored. Tired. Ready to go home. Not ready to engage. ready to tear down booth. It was discouraging to feel as though the Expo Hall vendors were already done. I complained to a Freeman rep. I motored my way around the Expo Hall picking up samples, exchanging business cards, and making the best of it. My advice…go first thing in the morning of each day. The vendors will be fresh…and enthusiastic.
So, there’s my Dos and Don’ts List. What’s on your list?
I still can’t believe how many bags you started with. =} By the way, the recycled bags are a good tip, but I use them for a variety of things like shoes, dirty clothes, etc. I always end up with so may totes from the conference that extra bags for swag are unnecessary. Also, last year I used my netbook all the time. This time, not so much. Having a good smartphone made a big difference. Ditto on the MomSelect Suite, although I skipped some of the swag that was left because I didn’t want to tote it home. This year, I mainly stopped by to say Hi to Maria Bailey.
I have never been to a conference but I am planning one right now. These are fantastic tips that I think will save my bacon as half of them I didn’t even think of.